Ikkyu Sojun [Kyounshi]

(b Kyoto, 1394; d Kyoto, 1481). Japanese Zen Buddhist priest, poet, calligrapher and painter. He was one of the most unconventional figures in 15th-century Japan, an uncompromising critic of the Zen establishment, both in his poems, religious statements, paintings and calligraphic works and in his eccentric conduct that sometimes verged on the manic. Kyoun (舛razy Cloud), his self-mocking sobriquet, is rich in literary connotations and emphasizes his non-attachment to the world, the essential requirement of a committed Zen monk. His famous manuscript of the Chinese verses named Kyounshu (舛razy Cloud anthology) reveals Ikkyu痴 unique literary genius and also his mercurial temperament. According to the Ikkyu Osho nenpu (舛hronicle of Reverend Ikkyu), which is thought to have been compiled shortly after the master痴 death by his disciple SHOTO BOKUSAI, he was the illegitimate son of Emperor GoKomatsu (reg 13821412) and a woman of a branch of the Fujiwara clan, connected with the rival southern court, who was dismissed from the imperial household before her child was born. Although Ikkyu was never recognized as the offspring of an emperor, GoKomatsu received him twice in audience. At the age of five Ikkyu was sent to Ankokuji, a temple in the province of Yamashiro (now part of Kyoto), where he began his training as a Zen monk. In 1406 he went to Kenninji in Kyoto to study Chinese Buddhist and secular classics, but by the age of 17 he had decided to devote himself to the study of Zen and sought instruction from the hermit Ken弛 Soi. After the death of his master in 1414, he was accepted as a pupil by Kaso Sodon (Keso Shudon; 13521428), a Rinzai Zen priest with a reputation for severity, who lived in a hermitage on the shores of Lake Biwa that was affiliated to Daitokuji in Kyoto. Kaso gave him the name Ikkyu (前ne Pause or 前ne Rest), a reference to the dynamic Zen concept of non-duality, in which the narrow path of enlightenment between the two worlds葉he material and immaterial, good and evil擁s a realm of perfect freedom, one pause of emptiness. Ikkyu attained enlightenment at the age of 26: while meditating in a boat on Lake Biwa late on a rainy summer night, he was startled by the raucous caw of a crow and cried out in wonder, convinced that he had achieved his ultimate goal. At some point before his master痴 death he embarked on the itinerant existence that he continued into old age. The unconventional behaviour he cultivated included openly frequenting taverns and brothels. He claimed that he could maintain the pure, original spirit of Zen much more effectively by his profligacy than by observing empty religious conventions. He also wrote statements of faith that explained Zen teachings in colloquial Japanese (kana-hogo).

Source: http://www.russellgallery.com/librar...99/T039939.asp
POETRY BY IKKYU


My Love's dark Place is fragrant like narcissus

At midnight, your face in a dream brings a sigh.
Ch'u's love pavilion was long ago far away.
But like a blossom on the flowering plum,
Sweet narcissus blooms between your thighs.


Elegy

We first lay down among flowers
Ten years ago and found a timeless rapture.
Sadly, I remember being pillowed by her lap,
All-night love, all eternity in our vows.


Face to face with my lover on Daito's anniversary

Monks recite the sutras in honor of the founder,
Their many voices cacophonous in my ear.
Afterward, making love, our intimate whispers
Mock the empty formal discipline of others.


Song of the Dream Garden

Pillowed on your thighs in a dream garden
Little with its perfumed stamen,
Singing, sipping from the stream of you-
Sunset, moonlight- our song continues.


My hand is lady Mori's Hand

My hand is Lady Mori's hand
And knows her mastery of love.
When I am weak, she resurrects my jeweled stem.
The monks I train are grateful then.


Night talk in a dream chamber

Whether by sea or river or in mountains,
A monk in the world abandons fame and fortune.
Every night, we nestle lie ducks in bed, sharing
Intimate whispers, our bodies become at one.

Source: http://www.geocities.com/Paris/5870/ikk.html